Strug­gle icon Makhal­ima to be hon­oured

Daily Dispatch - - News - By ATHENA O’REILLY

STRUG­GLE stal­wart and ex-Robben Is­land pris­oner Mfengu Makhal­ima has been recognised by the Na­tional Her­itage Coun­cil for his role in the fight against apartheid.

The coun­cil hosted the 79-year-old Fort Beau­fort man in King Wil­liam’s Town on Wed­nes­day to an­nounce he would re­ceive the pres­ti­gious Ubuntu Hon­our award.

It will be be­stowed on him at a Golden Shield Her­itage Award cer­e­mony in Kim­ber­ley to­day.

While Makhal­ima’s story was never made as pub­lic as other anti-apartheid ac­tivists like Nel­son Man­dela, Oliver Tambo or Chris Hani, he was thank­ful to be hon­oured while still alive.

“I did not ex­pect to re­ceive this hon­our. There is so much I’ll be leav­ing be­hind and I would like to pass on what I have learned dur­ing my years,” Makhal­ima said.

Ad­vo­cate Son­wa­bile Man­co­tywa paid trib­ute to Makhal­ima in King Wil­liam’s Town, say­ing pre­vi­ous re­cip­i­ents were out­stand­ing cit­i­zens like Man­dela, late Cuba leader Fidel Cas­tro and, more re­cently, Miriam Makeba.

Man­co­tywa said the Ubuntu Hon­our seeks to recog­nise any dis­tin­guished global cit­i­zen.

The coun­cil an­nounced that a doc­u­men­tary would be made telling Makhal­ima’s story and his biog­ra­phy is also to be pub­lished.

“One very im­por­tant thing we need to recog­nise is the role you played be­hind the scenes,” Man­co­tywa said. —

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